For some, the harbingers for Spring are those that abound in nature. Robins, grass, and early sunrise are all signs of the much longed-for break in the monotony of grey, lifeless weather and cold that rips through even the stoutest of wool-knit hats. For others, it is the ritual pulling out of the new, fairer weather wardrobe. But for some, and especially for me, nothing signals the end of winter dreariness like the start of protest season. Granted, for some there is no such thing as “protest season” and will stand with their signs and placards in the most dastardly of Hoosier weather. I am not one such sister.
This Tuesday started innocently enough, until I was informed of a protest outside of Mike Pence's office (a man who is currently in the front- running for my personal “Biggest Douche of the Universe” contest )to support Planned Parenthood and the weather seemed permissible, so I broke two of my personal rules and skipped my study session and hopped on public transportation. I appreciate the public bus as a concept and when I need it I’m glad it’s there, but it always pushes my own personal squick button. I’m a germaphobe to the nth degree and am constantly haunted by fears that the person who last touched the pole had a new, deadlier form of the Hantavirus that only targeted fat Irish women. So, with my Purell in hand, I made it to downtown Muncie.
I met a crowd of my sisters and brothers, all in pink with sturdy cardboard signs and rosy, chill-nipped faces. We stood on the sides of the road in front of Pence’s office and chanted, whooped, and made a general wild rumpus. We got quite a few honks, nods, thumbs up, and generally good juju sent our way.
Of course, no protest could occur without a truckload of dipshits waiting to pour their gasoline of hatred onto our fire. I had been to this type of event before and was mentally prepared for their bile. As expected, I was called a “cunt”, “dyke” and “baby-killer”, but the one that was really hurtful was when one guy gave me the finger and called me fat.
First of all, this is poor rhetoric. How does this contribute anything to the argument? How does this open the floor to debate and help clarify a position? I truly don’t care if an adult has a different opinion that me (well, I care, but not that much) and I am smart enough to handle arguing with people. Hell, I welcome it. I’ve managed to successfully talk a few rabid pro-lifers down to a dull roar because they were open to debate.
The worst part of it all? I get the feeling that this man chose to call me fat because he knew that it was the quickest way to cut through me. He looked at me, noticed my size, made an inference based on our societal dictations that I would be self-conscious about my weight, and tossed it at me like a paint ball full of jackassery. Next time, I’ll be mentally prepared for this outcome as well, but I shouldn’t have to be. I expect more.